Laughing with Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron makes me laugh, but now she's dead. Should I still laugh? 

She was known as an intellectual, a journalist, an accomplished woman, a celebrity, a novelist/essayist, film director/screen writer, but for me, she was someone who, like a confidante who lived next door, told me so many truths about myself that would have been tragic had she not made them hilarious.

By writing about herself in her bestselling books, she was also writing about others who saw themselves in her adventures, in turn of phrases that make one guffaw in near tears. She could write about the bitterest experiences with such unpredictable wit they become funny quirks.    

When my day becomes unreasonably tight and stressful, I turn to Nora Ephron's books and in a few minutes, the tight knots in my neck begin to loosen and disappear. She has (I talk about her in the present tense because her works will be around long after the tears of her passing shall have dried) a way of bringing on the ha-ha-ha. Her Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail are two of my favorite feel-good movies.  

She poked fun at aging, the bane of women over 40.  She went as far as taking her illness (a six-year battle with Leukemia) and fading memory with a spoonful of sugar. Her thoughts on being a woman influenced and were enjoyed by many women who admired her works.

To die at age 71 is young in my book. Losing one who has been a part of your reading life at her age makes one sad.

So I did myself a favor and took down from my bookshelf her “I Feel Bad about My Neck,” bought on sale in a second-hand book shop years ago, and re-read a chapter or two.

What she did in life, she does exactly in death: make me laugh.  

Lord, thank you for bringing into our lives people like Nora Ephron who could lighten our days with your grace of laughter.

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